Duddon Catchment

Catchment Facts

  • Total Area: ~300km2
  • The River Duddon follows a course of about 15 miles (24km), however the catchment includes numerous smaller becks and tributaries
  • The source of the River Duddon is at 393m above sea level near the Three Shire Stone at the highest point of Wrynose pass
  • The River Duddon, Harlock reservoir and Poaka Beck reservoir are public water supplies
  • Fish species composition in the Duddon catchment can differ from other catchments across South Cumbria due to the acidic conditions and other background factors.
  • Land use is dominated by sheep and beef farming with managed forests in the upper catchment
  • Main settlements include: Barrow-in-Furness, Ulpha, Seathwaite, Millom and Broughton-in-Furness
  • Main issues affecting the catchment include: Water Quality (low pH spikes), forestry operations and diffuse pollution from agriculture
  • The Duddon Rivers Association is a local community group under the umbrella of SCRT
  • This was Wordsworth’s favourite valley in the Lake District
  • Relative remoteness and lack of a lake means this valley is not one of the most frequented by tourists, although it does offer some recreational benefits
  • View a map of the Duddon catchment

The Duddon Valley Partnership and Duddon Rivers Association are active throughout the Duddon catchment. The Duddon Valley Partnership is a group of local stakeholders, and the Duddon Rivers Association are a local community partnership, both work together under the umbrella of the Becks to Bay partnership for the good of the Duddon Valley. To date both groups have collaboratively delivered some significant projects including tree planting in the upper valley, monitoring water quality to identify low pH spikes and peatland restoration. The group aims to continue to deliver these projects and have produced a film which will be available shortly to showcase the successes of catchment scale management.

The Duddon Valley Partnership includes:

Natural England,  Environment Agency, South Cumbria Rivers Trust, Forestry Commission, Woodland Trust, United Utilities, Duddon Rivers Association